Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Reconciliation Between Saints

Today the Church celebrates the feast of two saints who suffered martyrdom almost at the same time. One was the lawful Pope at the time. His name was Pontian. The other was upset that the Pope--in his opinion--was too lenient in accepting once lapsed Christians back into the fold. The dissenter Hippolytus declared himself Pope and a brief schism occurred. Not long after the Roman Emperor decided to arrest, imprison and eliminate Christians, especially their leaders. The two Popes ended up in the same prison. A reconciliation took place. Soon both died for the one faith they professed in Christ. We can learn from early Christian history that the saints were authentically human. They had their disagreements. They did not always see eye to eye. Yet they all loved Jesus and despite their opinions, loved one another. Their Christian love involved reconciliation, saying "I am sorry," embracing the other, loving from the heart. None of this behavior is easy all the time. With the grace of God, we can behave the same way. We just need to ask. A consoling line in the the gospel of Matthew read today is this: "Wherever two or more are gathered in my name, there am I in their midst."

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